Chesterfield careers expert says being bold and making the change can be so rewarding

With the UK out of lockdown but into a tougher tier system again, the weeks ahead are uncertain and, as a result, filled with anxiety for the thousands of people in the UK facing the prospect of redundancy as businesses struggle to survive.

Friday, 27th November 2020, 5:44 pm

While these are uncertain and fearful times, Chesterfield-based career change specialist Rebecca Kirk believes that the challenges faced can also be a catalyst for positive change and an opportunity to change career direction.

Ten years ago, Rebecca herself felt ‘stuck’ in a corporate job and was deeply unhappy and unfulfilled in her career.

Her unhappiness was such that she took a leap of faith, resigned from her job and took a five-month unpaid career break in Sydney to find her calling and, has never looked back.

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Rebecca Kirk says don't be afraid to make the leap to new career
Rebecca Kirk says don't be afraid to make the leap to new career

She now runs a successful life and career coaching business in Chesterfield, helping people make the same leap she made back in 2010.

She explained: “I understand many of the fears and anxieties that my clients feel at the early stages of their career change journey.

"But over the course of my career, I have left three good full-time jobs with nothing else to go into.

"I have tested my faith in myself and in something better being out there and have found that when you leap, the net does indeed appear.”

As well as a change in job, this can also be an opportunity to follow a long-held career dream – whether that’s starting a business or retraining.

There are no magic wands when it comes to changing careers, but there are some helpful steps Rebbeca advises you can take.

Take a moment of quiet

Considering a career change is important and it deserves your focus. Sit in a calm space and think about what you want to achieve in your career, or go for an undistracted walk in nature and see what inspiration or guidance comes.

Set an intention around what you do want

Instead of getting caught up in the things you don’t want, set an intention around the things you do want from your new career and think about how you would you like to be feeling in your next job?

Set some goals and make them visible

Make a note of your goals for your new working life and pin your vision board on your noticeboard or on your wall in a place where you are likely to see it regularly so that it seeps into your subconscious.

Feel the feelings now

A really powerful way to supercharge your goal is to feel the feeling of having achieved it before you’ve actually done it and each goal may bring you something different.

Take a self-inventory

If you’ve decided a full-scale career change is in order, you will need to evaluate your values, skills, personality, and interests.

By doing this you will gain self-confidence and it will give you greater clarity on potential career options.

Shortlist your options

Based on your values, skills and passions (or what your inner voice is telling you) consider what your ideal roles are and then create a shortlist of options.

Test the waters

Speak to people already doing the jobs – could you secure some work experience with them or perhaps do some voluntary work to test the waters?

Approach your research with an open mind and learn from each experience.

Give yourself some breathing space

This is not a process that can be done overnight as a career change takes some really deep soul searching to understand what is important to you and what will bring you fulfillment in life and your career.

Take small steps, even imperfect ones

Approach your career change like a road trip. Having a solid plan mapped out with contingencies in place will make the journey as smooth as possible.

Trust your instincts

Having confidence in your own gut instinct is so important, so use your gut feelings as a guiding compass during a career change.

Like Rebecca, another person who decided to make the change is Graham Walker who, after being made redundant 11 years ago, swapped the board room and senior marketing for the classroom and teaching at Tupton Hall School.

Graham saw TV advert encouraging people to get into teaching and decided to try it.

The first step was to gain work experience at his children’s primary school.

He recalled: “I hated it! Not the actual teaching but more the age of the children.

"The experience helped me decide that my skills were better suited to secondary teaching.

“I also realised I had a lot of transferable skills and life experience to bring to teaching.

"For instance, presenting at a senior board meeting is no different to standing up in front of a class of teenagers.”

He successfully completed his teacher training and was appointed as a maths teacher at Tupton Hall School, where he has progressed to head of maths

He continued: “Tupton is a big secondary school, so it has the same feel of a large organisation which I enjoy being part of.

"However, rather than dealing with products and services, I am now dealing with people and each of them has different outputs.

"You don’t get that in industry.”

“It’s a career change I don’t regret making.”

For more practical help and advice, visit Rebecca Kirk’s website or follow Rebecca Kirk Coaching on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.